This vascular therapy can be used as a complementary treatment supporting the bone fracture healing treatment. BEMER Physical Vascular Therapy can effectivly improve an impaired microcirculation. BEMER Physical Vascular Therapy shows to be a viable complementary and supportive treatment option for achieving healing results in bone fractures in a combined treatment regime.
Bone Breakages Can Happen to Anyone
Bone breakages are not just unpleasant and painful, they also usually occur unexpectedly, such as in a road accident, during sport, when falling, when being knocked, as an effect of violence, when bending excessively, or in the form of a stress fracture, for example after walking for a long distance on foot. According to estimates, almost half of all men and almost a third of all women between the age of 25 and 74 in Germany have suffered from a broken bone at least once in their lives. In medical parlance, the term used is 'fracture'. The large proportion of bone fractures among women over the age of 65 is particularly noticeable. Many of these are due to osteoporosis-related fractures. Osteoporosis is a disease which causes the bone mass density to progressively decline, thereby causing a loss in bone stability, which will often result in a bone fracture. However, there are other typical bone diseases in addition to osteoporosis, for example rickets, scoliosis and what is known as brittle bone disease. If, for example, the tissue is weakened as a result of osteoporosis, even minor injuries can result in bone fractures. Brittle bone disease is a hereditary disorder where the formation of the bones is incomplete. Accordingly, this elevates the risk of bone fractures. It is not uncommon for other injuries to be incurred in addition to bone fractures, in which adjacent vessels and nerves are injured.
Bone Formation – A Miracle of Nature
With the exception of the aforementioned external effects or bone diseases, bone fractures are relatively unlikely. Although the bones of a human being only accounts for around 12 percent of their body weight (for example, the bones of a person weighing 50 kg weigh around 6 kg), they are twice as hard as granite. It's an indication of nature's good planning, because bones are designed to stabilize and protect the internal organs. The skeleton, which is formed from a large number of bones, provides the basis for this. At birth, it consists of more than 300 bones or elements of cartilage. As the human body grows and develops, some of the bones grow together, become more stable and more resilient, thereby strengthening the human skeleton. An adult human generally has 206 bones, half of which are in the hands and feet. Bones have a high proportion of water (25 percent) as well organic substances and inorganic minerals. Among these are calcium (which makes the bones hard), magnesium, and phosphorus. Potassium, iron, sodium, fluoride and chloride are also present in small quantities. The inner core of a bone is surrounded by a compact bone mass, which in turn is surrounded by the periosteum, the outer membrane. These contain special cells (osteoblasts) from which new bone cells develop. This contributes towards the growth and regeneration of the bone. Bone marrow is present in the cavities of the large bones in the spinal column, and it is in these that up to five billion blood cells are formed each day. This fatty tissue produces red blood cells, various blood platelets, and leukocytes (white blood cells). When we consider all the functions that the bones perform, it should come as no surprise that bone fractures can quickly become a problem. But before we address the treatment of bone fractures and the associated rehabilitation schemes, we should first look at the types of bone fractures.
Types of Bone Fracture
Bone fractures can generally be broken down into the following categories (list may not necessarily be complete):
- Transverse fracture,
- Diagonal fracture,
- Spiral fracture,
- Burst fracture,
- Compression fracture.
Transverse fractures are simple breakages of the bone running across. Such a fracture often occurs as a result of the direct effect of force on the fixed extremity in question. A typical cause of transverse fractures would be a sliding tackle against the shin in a soccer match.
A diagonal fracture is similar to a transverse fracture, but with the force applied at an incline, causing a diagonal fracture line to develop.
A spiral fracture is characterized by a spiral-shaped fracture line, caused by indirect force that results in a fixed extremity being twisted. A typical example in this case would be a skiing accident in the Alps.
Burst fractures occur around the cranial bone. These are generally the result of external force. These fractures are generally characterized by star-shaped fracture lines, frequently with fragments pressed inwards.
Compression fractures are caused by the force of an impact on the long side of a bone. A typical cause of a compression fracture would be a fall from a great height.
In addition to the bone fractures listed above, the "comminuted fracture" is also worthy of mention. A fracture is deemed to "comminuted" where a bone has broken in several place and where an x-ray presents at least six visible bone fragments.
The most common bone fractures are of the wrist, the foot and the toes, but also of the ankle joint, the collarbone, and the humeral head. As we get older, fractures of the spinal column and hip joint are also not uncommon.
Fractures of the pelvis are particularly unpleasant. A pelvic fracture refers to a breakage in the bony parts of the pelvis. Breakage of the pelvis can result not only in a bone fracture but also injury to internal organs, the bladder or the urethra.
Fractures of the spinal column represent a major risk in terms of healing. If the spinal column is fractured, vertebral bodies can be compressed and broken. These breakages may not present symptoms with serious consequences if the bone fragments do not move (in which case we refer to a stable fracture). Otherwise – depending on the severity of the injury – neurological symptoms such as somatosensory disorders or, in severe cases, even paraplegia may occur.
Any bone fracture can be an open or closed bone fracture. A closed bone fracture has no exposed wound, whereas an open fracture has a wound visible in the area of the fracture. Skin and muscles are injured, and the breakage of the skin also gives rise to a high risk of infection. It is not uncommon for bone fractures to be linked to other injuries. For example, bone fractures can cause damage to adjacent vessels and nerves.
Treatment and Rapid Healing of Bone Fractures
For all the pain and unpleasantness associated with bone fractures, there is one positive aspect to them – they can be healed. However, it is necessary to clarify beforehand whether a conservative treatment of the fracture (e.g. by stabilizing the area using a plaster cast) can be applied or whether a surgical treatment is needed. The approach taken is based not only the type of fracture but also which bone is affected and what risks of secondary diseases and injuries there are. In either case, it is important in the event of a bone fracture for the parts of the bone to be restored to their correct positions. This is achieved by applying manual tension or pressure. Once the bones are restored to their former position, they must be fixed in place using nails, wire, screws or metal plates until they have fully healed. The aim here is to ensure that the bone is fixed in place as stably as possible to allow it to re-grow back together without disruption. Depending on the nature of the fracture, healing may be fast or slow.
If the two ends of the fracture are in close contact, they can grow back together using connective tissue, because connective tissue has nerve fibers, vessels and viable cells that develop new bone parts. Here, the body first develops connective tissue from blood clots at the fracture, before cartilage is formed from this tissue. Minerals ensure that the new cartilage gradually hardens to form a solid bone. Once the first stage of the healing of a bone fracture is complete, the process of rehabilitation then begins, in which the function of the musculature is maintained or later re-trained. In summary, the treatment and healing of bone fractures can be summarized to encompass three principles: reposition, retain, and rehabilitate. The body's own self-healing and repairing mechanisms play a role that is not to be underestimated. To provide these mechanisms with effective support, it is fundamentally essential to ensure or restore good microcirculation for regenerative processes, including with bone fractures. This means ensuring that the tissue cells are well supplied and are capable of disposing of waste substances by way of improving the circulation of blood.